82 Officers Receive LAPD’s Purple Heart Award

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Eighty-two officers were honored Thursday at an inaugural Purple Heart ceremony held to recognize officers for acts of bravery resulting in injury or death in the past 90 years.

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck was among those on hand for the ceremony at J.W. Marriott at LA Live in the downtown Los Angeles area.

Recipients of the award date back to 1921.

The honorees included:

— Detective Arleigh McCree and Officer Ronald Ball, members of the bomb squad, who died on Feb. 8, 1986. McCree and Ball had gone to a home in North Hollywood that was being searched in connection with a shooting. They were killed while attempting to defuse two booby-trapped pipe bombs found in a garage.

— Officer Tina Kerbrat, the first female officer to be killed in the line of duty, who died on Feb. 11, 1991. Kerbrat was gunned down when she and her training officer stopped to talk to a man in Sun Valley whom they recognized as a possible criminal. When they stopped their patrol car, the man opened fire on them, fatally wounding Kerbrat, whose partner shot and killed the suspect.

— Officer Randal Simmons, the first SWAT team member killed in the line of duty, who died on Feb. 7, 2008. Simmons was fatally shot as he and fellow SWAT officers entered a Winnetka home where a man who had shot and killed three relatives was holed up. A fellow SWAT officer was wounded but survived. The gunman was killed by other officers.

The Purple Heart Award Ceremony was hosted by the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Silver Farr, Mother of Spc Clay P Farr, KIA 2/26/2006 - Balad, Iraq

    The Purple Heart image used in your graphic for this story is the ‘Military’ Purple Heart. This Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The image that should have been displayed, is that of the the ‘Law Enforcement Purple Heart’. A Law Enforcement Purple Heart is a generic term to describe a United States law enforcement medal which may be issued to any police officer who is wounded or killed in the line of duty. The two Medals, are very different in appearance, and should not be confused. Especially during a time of war.

    • Robert Campbell

      Thank you for the clarification…and thank you for everything else.

    • Jim

      Mrs. Farr,

      First let me thank you for the sacrifice you and your son have made for this country. May your son rest in peace and honor.

      Second, I can not agree with you more. I was appalled to see this in print and on the nightly news last night. The two medals are completely different and should never be confused with one another.

  • Valerie

    I would love to share this on Facebook, but as the medal pictured is the military purple heart I refuse to offend people by posting. How hard would it be to get a picture of the LAPD purple heart! My father received this yesterday and I can’t share this piece.

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